Conceptualization of Worldview through Proverbs: A Comparative Study of Kalasha and Khowar Proverbs

Shumaila Shafket Ali



Folk literature in the form of proverbs, folktales, and folk songs carry strong traces of the culture of any community, for they not only represent the folk beliefs but also help project the worldview of a community. The current study aims to explore the worldview of the Kalasha and Khowar speakers which is manifested through the proverbs found in both the languages. Since it is a small scale qualitative inquiry based on a comparative analysis of the cultural traits of the two communities, the study focuses only on one form of folk literature — proverbs, as they are considered one of the most effective tools for exploring the world view of different cultures.  The data for the study are based on a collection of Kalasha and Khowar proverbs published in the form of two separate books carrying more than hundred proverbs of each language along with their Urdu translation. A comparative analysis of these proverbs indicates striking similarities as well as differences between the two communities. The similarities between the cultures of the two communities may be attributed to the geographical proximity of the Khowar and Kalasha speakers, whereas the differences between the two groups reinforce the principle of linguistic relativity which is the basis of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, according to which speakers of different languages perceive reality in different ways. The study is an important contribution in the field of cultural linguistics and paremiology both of which require further research as they are crucial for understanding diverse cultures.  

Keywords: proverbs, linguistic relativity, worldview, cultural linguistics, paremiology.

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